A visit to the Southside Quarry (4220 South Park Road) is a little-known but utterly awesome way to spend a summer afternoon in the Louisville area. The Southside Quarry is pretty much the closest thing that Louisville has to a beach, and don't worry, it's not on the banks of the Ohio. I wouldn't want you to grow a second limb swimming through that slurry.
The Southside Quarry has it all: sunny vistas, anchored floating platforms in the water, cliffs off of which to jump if you're brave, picnic tables, and (often) a DJ spinning music for the enjoyment of all. It's a $10 donation to get in, and 100% of profits goes to two local charities. It gets crowded, so arrive early, act like an adult, and enjoy the people you'll meet.
There are rules, of course. You must be 21 to enter, and an ID is required. You'll have to sign a waiver, and make sure to bring something to float on: pool noodles, life jackets, a raft because technically, you must float and not swim (it's pretty deep!). You're allowed to bring in your own food and beverages, but no glass, and please pick up after yourself so the quarry can stay nice for everyone. It's private property, so you should like the Southside Quarry on Facebook, follow them on Twitter or have a friend who does before you enter. Think of it as the secret passcode you need to get into this sunny speakeasy.
Now, I'm sure I'm making all my friends angry by divulging our secret place, so I'll add a few rules of my own:
- Don't get aggressively drunk. I'm begging you. Let's not ruin this. And don't drive drunk, obviously.
- Don't jump off a cliff if you're not ready. No matter how hard you're peer pressured.
- Don't try to sneak in if you're underage. The quarry is best enjoyed over 21 anyway.
- Definitely bring a flotation device. No matter how good you think you are in the water, a few beers and the sun can deplete you.
- Respect the rules and don't be a jerk. They can kick you out at any time and they will.
And here's what I suggest you bring for maximum enjoyment:
- Lake shoes, because there's no white sands and gravel hurts.
- Sunscreen, because the sun gets strong out there.
- Bug spray, because the beasties have discovered the quarry too.
- Sunglasses, because the water is very sparkly.
- Water, diet coke and other, uh, beverages, because staying hydrated is essential.
So come on in, enjoy the water, and say hello. I'll be the blonde floating on a braided bunch of pink pool noodles, sipping some Diet Coke and soaking up the sun.